The Rubber Manufacturers Association forecasts that original equipment truck tire numbers will end 2012 up by more than 5%, but growth will be slower for 2013. Replacement truck tires, on the other hand, are predicted to fall this year but rise in 2013.

Increased demand for commercial trucks and trailers will boost OE medium/wide-base/heavy on-highway commercial truck tire shipments by more than 5% for 2012,
reaching approximately 5.2 million units, RMA says.

However, a sluggish forecast for the 2013 Industrial Production Index should limit growth in 2013 commercial OE shipments to approximately 2%, or nearly 5.3 million total units.

For replacement tires, this market is forecast to decline by approximately 5%, or 900,000 units, to 15.7 million units in 2012, as fleets opt for new equipment and the economy remains sluggish.

However, 2013 shipments are expected to increase nearly 4%, or approximately 600,000 units.

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